The first call came in at 8:00 a.m. on January 1. I answered the call because the number came up as unknown and the only unknown calls I get are from my mother – except the person on the other end of the line wasn’t my mother. It was a scammer.

Get our free mobile app

The caller notified me that they were calling from Publishers Clearing House and was excited to let me know that I was the big winner of 18 million dollars and a new car. I let them talk for a few seconds and then disconnected the call.

Relentlessly, the scammer called back three more times before I handed my phone to my seven-year-old and let him have a go at them. As soon as my son told the caller that he knew they were a scammer and asked where they were located, they hung up and it was the last time I heard from them.

After dealing with the scammer’s obsessive calls, all I could think was how many people down on their luck might take the call and in desperation for better financial luck, believe it to be legitimate, opening up an even bigger can of worms.

Law enforcement in New York is aware of these Publishers Clearing House scams and has issued warnings about them. The scammers tell people they’ve won copious amounts of money and in some cases, a new vehicle, and then tells the ‘winner’ that in order to claim their prize (s), they need to send cash in the mail to cover taxes and processing fees.

READ MORE: New Yorkers Warned To Be Aware of Vacation Rental Scams

Unsuspecting victims who send money to the scammers never see it again nor do they receive their millions or new vehicles.

Publishers Clearing House is also aware of the scam and warns New Yorkers that these calls are a hoax. Publishers Clearing House does not contact winners directly through phone or email. If you really are a Publishers Clearing House winner, they’ll show up at your house with an entire horse and pony show.

LOOK: The biggest scams today and how you can protect yourself from them

Using data from the BBB Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, Stacker identified the most common and costly types of scams in 2022.

25 richest people in America and how they did it

Stacker compiled a list of the 25 wealthiest people in the country and how they've maintained their fortune.

25 richest families in America

To find out which clans hold the most wealth, Stacker compiled a list of the 25 richest families in America using 2020 data from Forbes.